2014 NBA Draft: 5 Players Guaranteed To Be Lottery Picks

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2014 NBA Draft: 5 Players Guaranteed to Be Lottery Picks

2014 NBA Draft: 5 Players Guaranteed to Be Lottery Picks
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

In just under four months, the highly-anticipated and much talked about 2014 NBA Draft will be upon us, but all we can do now is talk about which players will be taken at the top of the draft and which teams will be selecting these talented players.

This year’s draft is the best overall since 2003 and the class that produced NBA superstars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. While all four would lead their original franchises to postseason success, this year’s crop has even more of these impact players. While none of the names in the lottery have the star-power of James, Anthony or Wade, each of these players have their own unique skill set that will translate immediately to the NBA and their respective teams.

Sometimes, NBA franchises have to take one step backward to take two steps forward. This exact scenario has played itself out this year. Because of the tremendous depth in this year’s draft, some NBA teams and fans are actually ecstatic that their particular team is terrible, meaning more lottery balls and a better chance at drafting one of these gems.

From the likes of Creighton's Doug McDermott to Arizona's Aaron Gordon and even Syracuse's Tyler Ennis, there are at least 10 to 15 players in this year’s draft who, if they were eligible in 2013, would have been the first overall pick.

In my quest to find five players who will be guaranteed to be lottery picks in June, I found myself choosing from a list of 10 to 12 players, but only the best of the best made the cut.

Brian Kalchik is a writer for Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook and connect with him on Google.

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5. Dante Exum, Australia

Dante Exum
Getty Images

Despite not playing a single minute of college basketball, Australian guard Dante Exum is the best combo guard in this year’s draft. Exum can play both guard positions effectively, is explosive with the ball, and can get to the rim at ease.

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4. Julius Randle, Kentucky

Julius Randle
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Forward Julius Randle from Kentucky is the best power forward in this year’s draft. Randle is a double-double machine with tremendous size, strength and athleticism for a big man. He also has the ability to play outside of the paint, making him a versatile big.

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3. Joel Embiid, Kansas

Joel Embiid
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The best center in this year's draft, Kansas big man Joel Embiid has the most upside of any player in this year's draft. While Embiid has limited experience in the game of basketball (coming from Cameroon), he is a difference-maker on both sides of the court.

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2. Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

Andrew Wiggins
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Embiid's teammate at Kansas, Andrew Wiggins is the best athlete and the most talented player in this year's draft. Wiggins is a great scorer who can produce from anywhere on the floor, and his defense and athleticism is very much underrated.

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1. Jabari Parker, Duke

Jabari Parker
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Forward Jabari Parker from Duke is the most NBA-ready player in this year's draft. Parker, like Wiggins, is a scoring machine who can score from anywhere on the floor, and has a tremendous feel for the game.